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Geography Word of the Week: Niphablepsia

Niphablepsia is caused when the sun’s UV rays reflecting off snow burn the cornea.
  • Jan 27, 2016
  • 63 words
  • 1 minutes
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A medical term for snow blindness. A more common term you may have heard is photokeratitis.

From the Greek nipha meaning “snow” and ablepsia meaning “blindness.”

Niphablepsia is caused when the sun’s UV rays reflecting off snow burn the cornea. The Inuit developed clever “sunglasses” carved out of bone or antlers that block out most UV rays.


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